Samuel Barber

Biography

Born: 1910   Died: 1981   Country: USA   Period: 20th Century
An open-hearted yet tough romantic, Samuel Barber was one of the few twentieth century American composers to fight for the primacy of lyricism. In his last decades he seemed to be losing the battle, but by the end of the century Barber had posthumously become one of America's most widely performed and recorded composers. In particular, his emotive Violin Concerto and Adagio for Strings have gained a popularity exceeded only by certain works of Read more Aaron Copland.

Barber entered the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia in 1924, where he met future opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti; the two would become lifelong lovers. Barber was an able pianist and a baritone of some talent, but he was an even more precocious composer. His 1933 Curtis graduation piece, the spirited School for Scandal Overture, has become a beloved concert opener.

Barber developed into America's most enduring composer of art songs; most popular is his tender setting for soprano and chamber orchestra of James Agee's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. Barber had unerring taste in texts, and his literary interests led him to compose some allusive short orchestral pieces. Yet he was particularly adept at writing abstract works, such as Music for a Scene from Shelley. Many of these are in large forms: two symphonies, one string quartet (from which was drawn the Adagio for Strings, first popularized by Arturo Toscanini), an ambitious piano sonata, and one concerto each for violin, cello, and piano. While following traditional formats, they are propelled by a dramatic expressivity that hadn't been fashionable since Sibelius. Equally direct in their emotional content are his three Essays for Orchestra, the second being the best crafted and most acclaimed.

Barber would have seemed an ideal composer for the stage, but he had limited success in that realm. Medea, a 1947 dance score for Martha Graham, has found greater longevity in orchestral excerpts. His 1958 Vanessa garnered him the first of two Pulitzer Prizes (the second was for his Piano Concerto), but, like most other American operas, it quickly dropped out of sight. Barber wrote Anthony and Cleopatra to open the new Metropolitan Opera House in 1966, but critical reaction was so hostile that he produced very little during his remaining 15 years. Barber was too conservative to be fashionable; his harmony could be astringent, but his tonality remained secure, his rhythms were strong and clear, and he was not above writing a good melody. Read less

Work: Adagio for Strings, Op. 11

Browse 26-50 of 172 Available Recordings
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • 26.
    Label: Ars Produktion   Catalog: 381335 Release Date: 01/01/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jean Sibelius,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Franz Waxman,  Henri Wieniawski  ... 
    Performer:  Arata Yumi,  Mone Hattori,  Zakhar Bron
    Conductor:  Zakhar Bron
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 27.
    50 Shades Of Classical
    Label: Cleopatra   Catalog: 159 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Claude Debussy,  Gabriel Fauré,  Franz Liszt,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    Performer:  Danielle Dechenne,  Henrik Lagendaal,  Nora Ksendzov,  Dubravka Tomsic  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Raucheisen,  Zdenek Chabala,  Ferdinand Lang,  Zoltan Kovats  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Caspar da Salo Quartett
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 28.
    Fifty Shades Of Emotions
    Label: Belmondo   Catalog: 53 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy,  Sergei Rachmaninov  ... 
    CD: $14.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 29.
    Essential Film Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 5134 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  James Horner,  John T. Williams  ... 
    Performer:  David Bell,  Cécile Ousset,  Manuel Barrueco,  Steve Morse  ... 
    Conductor:  Klaus Tennstedt,  Mariss Jansons,  David Abel,  Geoff Love  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 30.
    The Greatest Classical Music Ever!: The Best Classical Music In The Movies Ever!
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 04105 Release Date: 09/18/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Stanley Myers,  James Horner,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Steve Morse,  Manuel Barrueco,  James Horner,  David Abel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Thomas Beecham,  Riccardo Muti,  Iain Sutherland,  Eugene Ormandy  ... 
    CD: $7.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $7.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 31.
    Neeme Jarvi - Highlights From A Remarkable 30 Year Recording Career
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 24144 Release Date: 07/31/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Johan Halvorsen,  Gustav Mahler,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Melina Madozzi,  Linda Finnie,  Felicity Lott,  Suzanne Murphy  ... 
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 32.
    Copland: Fanfare For The Common Man; Barber: Adagio
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001706402 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Aaron Copland
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Zubin Mehta
    CD: $7.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $7.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 33.
    Essential American Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 27851 Release Date: 06/05/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Louis Moreau Gottschalk,  Stephen Foster,  Edward MacDowell,  Scott Joplin  ... 
    Performer:  Leonard Pennario,  Salli Terri,  Matt Glaser,  Thomas Hampson  ... 
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Leonard Slatkin,  Neil Richardson,  John McGlinn  ... 
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 34.
    American Stringbook / Dogma Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Audiomax   Catalog: 9121717 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  David Diamond,  Samuel Barber,  Arthur Foote,  William Schuman
    Conductor:  Matthew Gurewitsch
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Do.gma Chamber Orchestra
    Recommendation
    SuperAudio CD: $20.99
    In Stock
    SuperAudio CD:  $20.99 Add to Cart

  • 35.
    Masterworks
    Label: Inner Knot   Catalog: 677787 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Samuel Barber,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Tony Levin,  California Guitar Trio,  Fareed Haque
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  California Guitar Trio
    CD: $15.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 36.
    Classical Hits Of The Cinema
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 30756 Release Date: 01/24/2012   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Gustav Mahler,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann,  Piotr Anderszewski,  Christian Zacharias
    Conductor:  Paul Bateman,  Lorin Maazel,  Andrew Litton,  Piotr Anderszewski  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $19.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 37.
    The Most Essential Classical Music In Movies
    Label: X5   Catalog: 111 Release Date: 11/15/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Claude Debussy,  Carl Orff,  Pietro Mascagni  ... 
    Performer:  Henrik Mawe,  Jose Perez,  Klemens Schnorr
    Conductor:  Ferdinand Leitner,  David Parry,  Heribert Beissel,  Hanspeter Gmür
    CD: $9.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $9.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 38.
    Two Souls - Barber, Khachaturian / Mikhail Simonyan,  Kristjan Jarvi
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001617002 Release Date: 11/01/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Aram Khachaturian,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Mikhail Simonyan
    Conductor:  Kristjan Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $21.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $21.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 39.
    50 Greatest Pieces Of Classical Music / London Philharmonic Orchestra
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 105 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Edvard Grieg,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Samuel Barber  ... 
    Performer:  Pieter Schoeman,  Finghin Collins,  Craig Ogden
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 40.
    The 50 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music
    Label: X5 Music Group   Catalog: 108 Release Date: 10/25/2011   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Franz Liszt,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Edvard Grieg,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Ponti,  Finghin Collins,  Roland Pöntinen,  Emmy Berhey  ... 
    Conductor:  Volke Schmidt-Gertenbach,  Heribert Beissel,  David Parry,  James DePreist  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Moyzes String Quartet,  Camerata Antonio Lucio,  Capella Istropolitana  ... 
    CD: $24.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 41.
    Essential Strings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 94919 Release Date: 07/12/2011   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Pachelbel,  Luigi Boccherini,  George Frideric Handel,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Maxim Vengerov,  Vag Papian,  Georges Armand,  Jean-Patrice Brosse
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Jerzy Maksymiuk,  Iona Brown  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Virtuosi,  Twelve Cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 42.
    Walton, Barber: Violin Concertos / Bowes, Swensen, Malmo Opera Orchestra
    Label: Signum U.k.   Catalog: 238 Release Date: 06/28/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Thomas Bowes
    Conductor:  Joseph Swensen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Malmö Opera Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 43.
    20th-Century Classics / Marriner, ASMF
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001553402 Release Date: 05/24/2011   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Richard Strauss,  Richard Wagner,  Heinrich Josef Baermann  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Brymer,  John Ogdon,  John Wilbraham,  Michael Laird  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    Recommendation
    On sale! $129.99
    CD: $75.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $129.99   CD:  $75.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 44.
    American Classics: Great American Showpieces - Bernstein, Copland, Gershwin, Barber
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 48952 Release Date: 05/17/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein,  George Gershwin,  Samuel Barber,  Aaron Copland
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Eduardo Mata
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 45.
    Live - Barber, Strauss, Mahler / Salerno-Sonnenberg, New Century CO
    Label: Nss Music   Catalog: 10 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Richard Strauss,  Gustav Mahler
    Conductor:  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Century Chamber Orchestra
    On sale! $17.98
    CD: $15.99
    Low Stock
    On sale!   $17.98   CD:  $15.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 46.
    Barber: Complete Orchestral Works / Alsop, Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8506021 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Performer:  Stephane Rancourt,  Louise Winter,  Lesley Craigie,  Roderick Williams  ... 
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Recommendation
    CD: $48.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $48.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 47.
    Majesties: The Great Organ Of Washington National Cathedral
    Label: Loft Recordings   Catalog: 1114 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Seth Bingham,  Herbert Howells,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Scott Dettra
    CD: $17.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 48.
    Barbara Hendricks Sings Bach, Barber & Copland
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 29355 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Aaron Copland,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Barbara Hendricks,  Maurice Murphy,  Hĺkan Hardenberger,  Eckart Haupt  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael T. Thomas,  Peter Schreier
    CD: $12.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $12.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 49.
    Classical Chill: The Romantic Collection, Vol. 2
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578009-10 Release Date: 08/31/2010   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ottorino Respighi,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Ernst Ottensamer,  Benjamin Frith,  Ilya Kaler,  Nora Mercz  ... 
    Conductor:  Anthony Bramall,  Jaroslav Krcek,  Enrique Bátiz,  Johannes Wildner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Capella Istropolitana,  Budapest Rossini Ensemble
    On sale! $25.99
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $25.99   CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 50.
    Label: Silva Screen   Catalog: 1309 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Pete Moore,  Bernard Herrmann,  David Raksin,  Henry Mancini  ... 
    Performer:  Gareth Williams,  Mark Ayres
    Conductor:  Evan Jolly,  Paul Bateman,  Nic Raine,  Bill Ashton  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Ensemble
    CD: $59.49
    In Stock
    CD:  $59.49 Add CD to Cart

1 2 3 4 5 6 7